SXSW Review: Hesher


Director:Spencer Susser

Cast:Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Devin Brochu, Rainn Wilson, Natalie Portman

Running Time:109.00


Having taken the Sundance audience by storm over a year ago, I had high expectations for Spencer Susser's Hesher.  Stars like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman don't join just any cast, there names carry enough validity to give a film hope, and Rainn Wilson wasn't a bad supporting star either.  Sadly, while not a terrible film in any regard, I was mostly disappointed with the dark and gritty film.

Taking on a situation that would never occur in real life, Susser's Hesher had an uphill battle from the onset.  The film revolves around a father and son who are attempting restart their lives as they recover from the death of the woman they called wife and mother, the film features a story much deeper than I originally expected.  And while that would have been fine nine out of ten times, with a lead character like Hesher, it just doesn't mesh well.

For starters, let me say that the performances, across the board, were fantastic.  Gordon-Levitt gives a unique and unexpected run at our lead 'villain', taking over the home of his new 'friend' without a hint of restrain.  His involvement with both TJ and Nicole is a bit random, though from the beginning it becomes quite clear that the relationships in this film weren't supposed to make sense.

The film's most notable fault lies within its story.  Overdone by about twenty minutes, the film fails to end in time to save it from its own worst enemy - itself.  And even more unfortunate is how generic the story became as it progressed.  I loved the pool tirade, as well as the stop sign fender bender, but both ended up being small glimpses of hope amongst a pile of recycled rubble.

Hesher is good enough to be hitting a theater near you very soon, however, I'm not entirely sure it is worth running out to catch.  In fact, a Netflix rental seems most appropriate for this title, and it should be a possibility in the coming months.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.

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